Get access to everything we publish when you sign up for Outside+.
Need a gift for that special climber in your life? We’re running new product recommendations every weekday until the holidays. Check out the rest of the list.
What the heck is a dynamometer? Good question. Dynamometers measure force. The Camry Digital Hand Dynamometer measures grip strength, specifically. Squeeze the handle as hard as you can, and your crushing ability is displayed on the screen in pounds or kilograms. I picked up the Camry Digital Hand Dynamometer after Steve Bechtel mentioned it during a Training Beta interview. For the casual climbing enthusiast, it doesn’t have much value beyond novelty. You can bust it out at parties for hand strength contests, like a high tech version of door frame hang-offs. It also rates your performance from weak, to average, to strong based on your gender and age. That’s concrete data you can use to call your friends wimps. But for the hardcore trainers out there, this is a valuable tool. Based on Bechtel’s advice, I tracked my hand strength daily with the dynamometer, charting the peaks and valleys. A valley in my grip strength readings meant I wasn’t recovered from my previous workout. The dynamometer guided my schedule, allowing me to train more efficiently and avoid injury. For just thirty bucks, it’s worth it whether you want a toy or a tool.